I was given permission to take my children out of school yesterday due to exceptional circumstances, all three being autistic, two with restricted eating, one of which people would say is severely autistic, I know this term is frowned upon within the autistic community but I really don’t know how to describe it in any other way, maybe someone can educate me. One has asthma and me being a single parent and sole carer to them. We are vulnerable.
So we are now in self isolation for the next three months.
The schools are all closing here on Friday anyway.
It’s going to be bloody hard.
Changes in routine.
I am going to have to restructure everything at home to so I can accommodate distance learning.
The world has suddenly changed. Everyone is frightened and in some ways society seems to be degenerating but in others coming together.
I like most other people am completely freaked out and anxiety is through the roof.
This is how day one of isolation went:
I have explained as much as I can why they aren’t able to go to school, two understand the eldest my 10 year old doesn’t and so I need to find time to make some visuals to help him.
I have told them lessons at home will commence Monday so I have time to prepare and it is plenty of warning for them so they can get used to the idea that this will be happening.
So I basically let them have free time and play and as I am half way through decorating I allowed my 10 year old help paint the woodwork in his bedroom and he just loves painting. He has made a mess the paint is dripped all over the carpet and the paint on the skirting boards is all drippy and lumpy and imperfect but the decorating has taken me so long with my other commitments like autism and housework that I really don’t care it looks clean so that’ll do and he enjoyed doing it so whatever.
A few sibling arguments between the other two meant making them have time apart in different rooms in the house.
One major meltdown from one due to him not being happy with the change in routine and not being at school because he likes school he is very competitive and he cannot cope that he is not in control.
Seriously at times like this as a parent of autism here is a top parenting tip to help remain calm yourself when all is kicking off in these scenarios stick the ear defenders on yourself you cannot diffuse a situation and calm a child down if you get wound up by the prolonged screaming and the thing is autism is exhausting so trust me a set of your own ear defenders can come in handy.
So anyway they have been pretty well behaved and I got on with a bit of housework and I was feeling all good and stuff and then the postman came.
Unfortunately I had to go no contact with their father who I split with last year due to domestic abuse, abuse that he has admitted to social services and he lives 70 or 80 miles away and it was a letter from a mediation company dated yesterday inviting me to travel all that way to the town he lives him for mediation.
I cannot express how actually fucking gobsmacked I was that he has done this at this time when there is all this surreal shit with the corona virus going on and our lives have suddenly turned into some dystopian reality.
That I am expected to find suitable childcare get a bus to the next village then get two trains to his town and sit in a mediation with my abuser and explain why I will never agree to him having unsupervised contact, and it’s shocking this has come at a time when everybody knows what is going down in this country with social distancing and self isolating because of this virus.
Seriously shows a lack of actual care and it’s all manipulated so I have to put myself at risk and therefore put the children at risk just so I have to see him face to face.
I cannot express how outraged and sick to the stomach I felt.
First off I phoned my social worker but she is working from home and the office said they’d email her so then I phoned Women’s Aid and they told me that as a victim of abuse I don’t have to turn up to any mediation so I was relieved and so I left a voicemail with mediation company saying that I was declining their invitation due to being a victim of abuse and also that I am self isolating for 3 months.
So now I am anxious about him just turning up here.
So got all that problem sorted and then my social worker informs me of the good news that her boss has approved an increase in direct payments for me so I can have a PA for my son nine hours a week instead of the three that I have been having.
So then I phoned PA who happens to be my second son’s girlfriend and I ended up having a bit of an argument with her over it as she was not happy about the extra hours but we reached an agreement whereby she will work 9 hours once a fortnight and I just have to get someone else in to do the other week.
I already have people interested it’s just waiting for DBS check and pray they’re ok to come to my home to work during this social distancing period however long that will be.
Then I was trolled on Facebook on a local village page when someone posted about supermarkets limiting the amount of foods that people can buy to three items of any one product.
I commented that is not good news for families with autistic children or autistic people.
So some guy responded expecting me to justify and explain why I would need to buy more than three of one item at a time and so I tried to explain about the sensory processing in autism and the fact that a lot of autistic people only eat a couple of different foods but he kept on so I screenshot the conversation and shared it with my local autism group and they all came out in agreement and supported me against this ignorant troll.
It was not very pleasant and upset me but the autism community are all united and supporting each other and helping each other at this unprecedented time which in all honesty is so awesome.
So later on then this evening I saw on Instagram that the band Bastille were doing a live stream of a few songs to cheer people up so I shared that this was happening on an Indie music group I am in on Facebook and got roasted and made fun of by some guy and so that made me feel like shit.
Absolutely no need for trolling or nastiness on the internet especially during this crisis when everyone is going through mass anxiety and has shit going on in their lives I mean really positive vibes only are needed right now globally.
So anyway then the most absolutely shocking and disgusting thing happened.
The father of my four eldest children has been seriously ill in hospital and through frustration and fear he discharged himself from hospital and went home and then regretted it as he quickly took a turn for the worse and his partner had to phone ambulance and one of their neighbours live-streamed him being helped into the ambulance on Facebook and it was shared and my daughter and his partner saw it and were understandably absolutely distraught and it is just disgusting to steal someone’s dignity like that for the world to see and the saddest thing about it is that is going to be a miracle if he survives because he is so poorly.
There just are no words
So one autistic son still awake and I am pretty tired but hopefully get to chill for an hour in about and got to just thank God for another day and see what tomorrow brings.